Small businesses are at the heart of our economy, with more than two million operating across the nation and more than half a million Australians involved in startup activity at any point in time.
Recently, Intuit surveyed* 500 local entrepreneurs to find out about their business journey with the view to share key learnings and insights to help other startups.
Of those surveyed, more than half (58 per cent) said they wished they had done some things differently to set up their business, and for millennial business owners that figure rose to 70 per cent.
Just 44 per cent were really satisfied with the way they run their companies and one in four (27 per cent) had not been able to get their company to really hum.
A key regret small business owners had was not learning to better manage and track their finances (21 per cent). In fact, more than half (56 per cent) said they were still relying on ledgers or spreadsheets to handle their operations.
Clearly, many SMBs are not yet tapping into the power of affordable online financial management packages that are now available. Cloud-based accountancy software can provide smart financial management to help with everything from creating quotes and invoices through to tracking sales and cash flow, and managing GST.
Thanks to mobile apps linked to cloud accounting solutions, small businesses can also have sales and customer information at their fingertips, prepare quotes and proposals on the go, invoice on the spot, track and log expenses, and manage projects on the move, anytime, anywhere.
Tips for Small Business Success
Based on Intuit’s close relationship with startups, here are five tips to keep in mind as you start your business:
- Plan: Around one fifth (18 per cent) of small business owners surveyed by Intuit wished they had prepared a better business plan when they set up. The insight here is to develop a solid business strategy at the outset and be sure to ask a business person you respect to review it and provide feedback.
- Double it: When estimating your sales and how long it will take to become profitable, double your initial figures! Being conservative can help ensure you have ample time to start turning a profit.
- Multi-task: If possible, start working on your business while holding down another job. This enables you to earn an income and invest a proportion of incoming funds into your new venture.
- Embrace cloud accounting: Working in the cloud can boost productivity as it allows you to access your data from beyond your desktop. What’s more, using a connected mobile app will allow you to manage your finances no matter where you are.
- App-ify your biz: Beyond your books, there are a range of other cloud-based apps that can help with everything from digitally capturing receipts to creating business reports and helping manage inventory and staff. And, many integrate with cloud accounting offerings which means less time spent on administration, and more on growing your business.
About the Author:
Nicolette Maury is Managing Director of Intuit Australia, the company behind the world’s leading cloud accounting solution for small businesses and accountants, QuickBooks Online.
*About the Startup Research
This study, conducted by Galaxy Research, reveals the response of 500 small business owners throughout Australia, who employ 20 people or less, generate annual turnovers of $2 million or less, and have been in business for less than five years.